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India Rubber: Prices up in Kerala as demand from stockists rise

Prices of natural rubber rose in Kerala today due to improved demand from domestic stockists after a recent fall in prices.

* However, sluggish demand from tyre makers and bulk buyers limited the rise in rubber prices. Demand for tyres, which accounts for 65% of total demand, is dwindling as production of automobiles has been severely hit due to the COVID-19 lockdown, said Thaha Mohamed, the owner of Sara Traders based in Kottayam.

* Inventories with tyre manufacturers have piled up as lifting of stock from factories has almost stopped.

* The sentiment remain weak as tapping in key growing areas has resumed after it was halted during Jun-Aug due to rainfall. With weather conditions improving and tapping picking up, production will improve and prices will likely remain under pressure, traders said.

* On the Tokyo Commodity Exchange, rubber futures ended largely unchanged. However, the outlook for rubber contracts on TOCOM remains firm as global production of the commodity is expected to be lower in 2020, analysts said.

* The Association of Natural Rubber Producing Countries cut its forecast for global output in 2020 to 13.15 mln tn, down 4.9% on year.

* Following are the highlights of today's trade:

 –On TOCOM, the February contract ended at 186.1 yen (about 130.89 rupees) per kg, up 0.1 yen.

 –In Kochi and Kottayam, the widely-traded RSS-4 variety was quoted at 132-133 rupees per kg, up 1-2 rupees from Thursday, traders said. End

US$1 = 73.4450 rupees